Archive for August, 2010

How to make crack

At the moment, I’m procrastinating on cleaning, which I promised I would do and which needs to get done so that I can let myself go get Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy  and Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel.  However, I’m having a “clean ALL the things D: ” moment, so I thought I’d provide a recipe for another of my favorite writing fuels, some lovelywonderful stuff my family named crack.  Crack is so named because our collective inability to stop eating it resembles some other people’s addiction to a different substance of the same name.

So here goes:
– Take a large bowl.  Put in somewhere between 1/4-1/2 stick of butter.  Stick this in the microwave and nuke it for about 30 seconds until the butter starts to go all melty.  Pull it out of the microwave and swirl the butter around the sides of the bowl.
– Add in a 16 oz bag, or 2 10 oz bags, of marshmallows.  On top of the marshmallows, sprinkle a liberal amount of chocolate chips, and then add a large-ish glop of peanut butter.  (Yes, that really is how I measure this.  I’m thinking the chocolate chips are probably in the 1/3 cup range and the peanut butter is probably in the 3/4c-1c range, but I’m just guessing.  “Liberal amount” and “large-ish glop” really do seem more accurate.)
– Heat the whole mess in the microwave for 2-2:30 minutes, until the marshmallows are huge and puffy.
           -MEANWHILE (it is important to do this either beforehand or, if you’re like me, scramble to do it while the marshmallows are puffing):  make sure you’ve got your stirring spoon (I use an ice cream spade because it’s sturdy as hell), your Rice Krispies (you need LOTS of these!), and your greased (large) cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan) out and ready to go.
– When the marshmallows are large and puffy, take them out of the microwave and stir the whole mess up to get the marshmallows, peanut butter and chocolate chips all mixed up.  Then, without wasting any time (because timewasting means that this stuff gets damned near impossible to stir), pour in a bunch of Rice Krispies.  Like, 3-4 cups+ worth.  Then stir like your arm strength depends on it. 
– Continue to add Rice Krispies and stir until you’ve got the marshmallow goop/Rice Krispie balance where you like it.  Then pour and scrape the mess out onto the greased cookie sheet (it really needs to be greased, else you’ll never get your crack off of the tray when you want to eat it). 
– Also important: grease your hands.  I keep an end of a stick of butter for this purpose.  Once the glop of goop is on the pan, grease your hands and then press it down so that it covers the pan and is whatever thickness you like in your crack.
– Let cool and enjoy. And try not to eat the whole pan in a day.  Good luck with that.

This stuff is arguably healthy, because it has Rice Krispies in it (and Rice Krispies are allowed by whatever government agency to claim that they’re healthy), because it has peanut butter in it (yay protein!), and because it has chocolate in it (which, as I proved beyond doubt in an earlier post, is one of the healthiest and best foods you can have).  Share and enjoy, people.

I’ve now spent at least 5 minutes of my life watching this video of my friend Dr. B’s cat.  I dare you to try to spend less time doing the same.  Much thanks to the awesomesauce Dr. B for permission to post this video, thus helping me help you waste your time.

As an aside, notice the tubes of Pringles in the background.  Pringles are Ph.D.-approved writing fuel.  If you find yourself stuck with writer’s block, Pringles might be the answer.

On the other hand, I myself tend to go with Pizza Rolls as my writing fuel of choice.  If you find that Pringles aren’t working for you (or just aren’t what you’re craving in your writing fuel junkfood), Pizza Rolls might be a better choice.  If so, allow me to recommend the “Cheese” over the “Triple Cheese,” as experience as taught me that the latter has a tendency to explode its cheesy goodness all over the cookie sheet earlier in the baking process than the former.  Always remember always to bake your Pizza Rolls, as microwaving them makes them soggy.  Soggy Pizza Rolls are inadequate writing fuel and should be avoided at all costs, lest they make a pasty, pulpy puddle out of your prose.

Hollywood Strikes Again


Paul W.S. Anderson is filming The Three Musketeers (the link is to the imdb page).  This particular Mr. Anderson is the director of the Resident Evil films.  Which, you know, fine.  I’m not a fan of the Resident Evil films, but I don’t have to be.  But the concept of the person who directed those movies having anything whatsoever to do with yet another attempt to create a film of the Three Musketeers flat pisses me off.  The book deserves better than this.

And yet, sadly, I don’t think they (you know, the amorphous “they/them” who get so much blame) will every manage to make a decent film of this book.  There’s just too much there.  And it isn’t the “too much” that often happens in the novel —> film adaptation that there’s too much going on with the characters to make them seem realistic and fully fleshed out on screen.  The characters in the Three Musketeers are practically archetypal – their characters can be illustrated adequately in a matter of moments – maybe a scene or two.  And it’s not that the characters are busy thinking lots of untranslatable-to-screen deep thoughts, because Dumas in general doesn’t seem to have had much truck with all that (except in the dragging ‘deep thoughts on revenge’ parts of the Count of Monte Cristo).

The problem with the Three Musketeers is simply plot: there’s far, far too much of it to fit into a single film (and it’s all far, far too awesome to want to cut).  A trilogy, perhaps – the first film being d’Artagnan’s entry into the Guards, the second being the flirtation with Milady and discovery of her treachery, and the third being the Milady/Felton craziness and giant finale.  Or it could be sliced up to have a film dealing with just the romantic angles, or one that deals primarily with the politics, or one that deals primarily with the friendship between the four.  I’d love a version that attempted to take on the political backdrop, personally, because Dumas had a keen sense of what made people fascinating, and he captures that fascination beautifully in the political intrigues.  The point, however, is that what does make it into the film will have to be carefully chosen and flawlessly executed, else the whole thing will be a mess.  There’s just too much there to make a coherent film, and even the cutting would be difficult, since every element is so tightly interwoven with every other element. 

I love and adore bad movies.  I gleefully watched this year’s version of Robin Hood, near-collapsing into paroxysms of hysterics at the idea that Robin’s uneducated philosopher Freemason father wrote the rough draft of the Magna Carta.  My husband and I throw parties whenever a particularly promising gem of awfulness shows up on the Saturday night SyFy lineup.  I went and saw Prince of Persia in the theaters, FFS. 

This, however, is different.  This feels personal.  The Three Musketeers has been one of my favorite books since I was 12 and first read it.  It’s been destroyed before – see the 1993 Disneyfied Chris O’Donnell production, which seems to have stolen only the title and character names from the original.  It was painful watching it (that film was my Chris O’Donnell crushkiller), and I have zero hope for this version.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to steel myself to sit through it because I’m already worried that the director will turn it into some sort of blockbuster-y gorefest. 

This is the type of thing that makes me question having given up thumbsucking.  It’s.  Just.  WHY.

A Guacamole Recipe for You

I’m feeling momentarily uninspired on the writing procrastination front because my cat woke me up several times in the middle of the night because she wanted to play.  Therefore, I’m half-zonked.  I also haven’t had much time to write in the past day and a half, so I can’t direct you to my writing procrastination activities from this time.  There haven’t been any.

Therefore, for your afternoon’s entertainment I’ve decided to give you my guacamole recipe, because it’s still summer and therefore still warm enough to want guac.  Here goes:

– 1 bag of tortilla chips
– 1/2 red onion, finely chopped.  No crying.
– 1 chili pepper of whatever variety you’d like, seeded or not, all depending on what heat level you’d like (I tend to use a seeded jalapeno because I have something of a babbymouth)
– 1 clove garlic, smashed and then minced
– 1/2 a bunch (or a whole bunch, if you, like me, think it tastes lovely and fresh and not at all of soap) of cilantro, finely chopped
– 2 avocadoes, cut in half, ginormous seed removed, lovely smooth creamy green insides taken from within and added to bowl, one ginormous seed kept hanging about what will keep the guac from turning icky brown colors
– 1-2 limes, squeezed over the avocado also what will keep the guac from turning icky brown colors

Add everything in the list, excepting the bag of tortilla chips and reserved ginormous avocado seed, into a bowl with the lovely smooth creamy green avocado insides and then mash and stir until it reaches whatever guacamole consistency you prefer.  I like it mostly-but-not-all mashed up, because I like getting little chunks of avocado in with everything else.  When you’re done mashing, throw the reserved ginormous avocado seed into the guac and ignore it.  It will keep your guac a lovely green color for a couple of days, should the guac last that long (mine usually doesn’t).  Then open the bag of chips and chow down.

You can probably add tomatoes, but I don’t.  Just because.  I also think it would be awesome to throw some lobster in, but I probably won’t be doing that any time soon as I’m a) funemployed and thus not really in a financial position to buy any lobster and b) living in Kansas, where fresh lobster is rather harder (although not impossible) to come by than it was when I was located closer to a coastline.  But lobster in guac is indeed awesome, and would help you pretend (should you so desire) that guacamole is a full meal rather than a really fun appetizer/condiment.

Transformice!* is an awesomesauce little game wherein you control a mouse in order to get cheese and then get back into the mouse hole.  There are some obstacles in the way.  One of the mice is named Shaman for the round and helps** you get your mouse through the puzzle if help is indeed needed.

The scary part is the chat that takes place on the lower part of the screen.  The people on the chat aren’t always happy, PC people.  I get the impression a lot of them are Anonymous.***  However, they occasionally (like today) will offer advice on what to do if you’re Shaman and can’t get a balloon to attach to another mouse correctly (as happened to me – someone actually was friendly and gave me advice as opposed to calling me n00bshammy and suggesting my mouse kill itself – it was refreshing, really).

So go play. It’s fun.  Fashion bonus: inn another 18 or so successful cheese runs, I’ll be able to “buy” a teeny top hat for my little mouse.  Exciting, non?

And because I wouldn’t be a former academic without footnotes:
* followers of my beer blog will know that I’ve been lately running into nouns suffering from “Errant Punctuation Point Syndrome,” wherein a lone exclamation point appears at the end of a word for no grammatically apparent reason.  I’ve yet to figure out the cause of all these errant marks of punctuation.  I can’t blame the internet, as Transformice! is actually the first time I’ve noticed this phenomenon online, and the Bully! Porter which started this whole trend was brewed before Al Gore created the World Wide Web.
** “helps” is a generous word.  Some Shaman (aka “shammy” in the chat box) help.  Some are trolls who block progress.  The trolls are usually pretty funny, so it’s all good.
*** If you don’t know what I mean when I say Anonymous, consider yourself very glad and try not to find out.

The Brown Vegetable Theory

With my apologies to those who already know and follow this particular piece of nutritional knowledge and thus are reading summer reruns here, I’d like to spread the knowledge to those who haven’t learned the Brown Vegetable Theory yet.

I know we’re all told that we’re supposed to have ample helpings of leafy greens at all times.  Or that we’re supposed to eat by color – the thought being that having a plate of brightly colored (by nature, not by science) food is a sign of having a plate of really nutritional food.  This is most likely true.  However, we need to make sure we also get our daily helpings of brown vegetables, as brown vegetables are the best vegetables. 

Brown vegetables include the following:
– chocolate
– tea
– coffee
For those of you who think I’m drunk nuts, the underlying logic is simple and easily explained.  Chocolate comes from beans.  Beans are a vegetable.  Therefore, chocolate is a vegetable (vanilla would fall into the same category when you think about it).  Tea comes from leaves, which, because lettuce is a vegetable, must also be considered a member of the vegetable category.  Coffee comes from beans, which in turn come from coffee cherries, making coffee an elusive and exponentially more powerful fruit/vegetable combination.

Based on the above, the healthiest and most complete breakfast you can have each morning is a mocha.  With the mocha, you get the superpowered fruit/vegetable combination that is the coffee, combined with the extra vegetable hit of the chocolate and the wonderful protein and calcium in the milk.  Mocha: it does a body good.

Alright.  So I have a beer reviewing/bar reviewing blog here: .  The beer reviewing arena is probably better known as “the area of my expertise.”  Go there for coherence of topic and thought.  We’ll none of that here.

The purpose of this blog is to get the other thoughts out of my head, i.e. “the random things that pop into my head when I’m trying to get something productive done.”  I figure that if I have a place to let them coalesce, they’ll either leave me alone or they’ll turn into something usable.  Either one is acceptable to me.  I decided I needed this blog about a week ago when it occurred to me that the beer blog really just needed to stay beer-related, and didn’t need off-topic posts clogging it up – the obvious solution was to create an off-topic blog.  So I considered it for a while, and finally decided that I should do something about it at some point last night around 2am as I stared at what is likely to be chapter 3 of the current WIP (work in progress, for those of you not up on writing acronyms). 

Given I’m filling my funemployment with a combination of job searching and novel writing, the vast majority of my thoughts here will likely have something to do with one of those.  Well, the thoughts will often have something to do with writing more than job searching: writing is sometimes fun, whereas job searching is a demoralizing morass of, well, you know it if you’ve done it.  So, well, maybe I won’t post about job searching, unless it’s to report good news.

So that’s that.  Enjoy.  Given it’s after 12:30, I’m going to pull myself together enough to go find some lunch.

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